May 26th 2018

Linux Review

I’ve been using Debian GNU/Linux under XFCE4 for about 3 or 4 weeks now. I like it a lot! I decided to try it out for a few reasons:

  1. Windows 7 is phasing out soon. At some point in the near future, Windows 7 will be unusable.
  2. I am strongly against using Windows 10. Forced updates, bloatware, adware, it’s all included in the box.
  3. MacOS based machines work best when they are built by Apple. Apple computers are way out of my price range. I could make a hackintosh, but Linux seemed more worthwhile.
  4. If the newest Windows and MacOS are both unappealing to me, why not make the switch now and get used to the quirks of Linux?

I installed it and forced myself to use it and learn the ropes, and try to use it as long as I possibly can. I’ve been using it for 3 weeks straight without many issues. But I’m going to dual boot with Windows 7. Why?

  1. Memory management. I am running a system with 8 gigs of RAM and I’m finding myself hitting the maximum with 2 Google Chrome tabs and Discord open. Closing Chrome clears the memory. Sure, Google Chrome can be a memory hog. But when I’m running Windows my memory is managed more efficiently, or at least the performance feels like it. I have never once ran into an issue where I’ve said “oh, I’m out of memory” on Windows, but I have multiple times since I’ve been using Debian.
  2. Application support. I was surprised to see that Linux has a massive library of software and I must say that I like a lot of it more than Windows. I like having the ability to use GParted on the fly. I like being able to install software without even needing to go through a web browser. I like compiling my own software and being happy when it functions. I like having lightweight, simple commandline tools that perform tasks that Windows would only be able to do with paid software or hacky ports. But when it comes to major brand-name software, I can’t run anything. For example, Sony Vegas is the video editing software I do literally everything audio-video related in. I record audio using Vegas, I produce videos using Vegas, Sony Vegas is open on my computer almost every day. And in Linux, I can’t run it unless I use Wine, or virtualize. Wine has bugs, Vegas crashes almost every few minutes I work on a graphically-heavy project. If I virtualize, I get huge performance drops. Can’t add too many effects onto one video clip without VMWare locking up.
  3. Fear. I fear updating. I’m on the Debian Sid unstable branch, where all software is kept up-to-date with new features. If I’m not, I’m stuck with outdated software. One update of something I’m not familiar with could break my entire system, so I don’t update. I need a system that I can rely on daily. The solution to this would be to just stick with a stable branch, but I don’t like outdated software. I like having new features.
  4. Device support. My capture card (Hauppauge HD PVR2) is totally incompatible with Linux. I can record videos with it, but I can’t stream with it. I can’t get a live video feed. I’ve looked all around Github for a user created driver but I’ve found nothing. I found something for a piece of software called MythTV, but that software required that I compile it myself. So in order to get that working I would have had to install tons of dependencies to compile this massive TV streaming application MythTV and then from there, hope that the Hauppauge driver I found on Github is functional the way I need it to function (it wasn’t!)
  5. General stability. Every time I log in my desktop manager fails to start so I need to go into tty1 and log in (again) and then type “sudo lightdm restart” and that’s just straight up annoying. I believe this is a conflict with NVIDIA but I haven’t found a solid answer online.

I really enjoy Linux but I need to dual boot for reasons that Linux can’t really solve just because of the nature of the operating system.

May 23rd 2018

Tabula Rasa

I cleaned up the weblog and removed some posts from a darker period of my life. I plan on giving this blog a new theme and updating it more frequently with solid content as opposed to useless ramblings. Stay tuned.